Formerly surging middleweight Derek Brunson may have earned a $50,000 bonus for his part in last night’s “Fight of the Night”-winning slugfest with Robert Whittaker in the main event of UFC Fight Night 101 from the Rod Laver in Melbourne, Australia, but that isn’t much of a consolation prize for the veteran fighter.
Suffering a first-round TKO due to a vicious onslaught of hands and feet from Whittaker, Brunson’s five-fight win streak came to a screeching halt in perhaps his most pivotal bout, and many are still wondering why he chose to rush in so carelessly winging power shots.
Brunson knows it wasn’t the most effective path to a win, revealing his thoughts at the UFC Fight Night 101 post-fight presser via Submission Radio:
Brunson admitted that he fought with ‘no gameplan’ and perhaps got caught up in the emotions of his winning streak:
“It definitely sucks. Put together a streak and worked really hard to. But when you come out here and fight with no gameplan, I looked like a chump out here tonight, but I take it on the chin, take it for what it’s worth. I know I’m better than I showed, this sport is growing and it’s about patience rather than getting caught up in, you know, five in a row, wanting a title shot, main event; but remembering to put on a great fight and also be smart.”
Asked about what prompted such a reckless performance, Brunson said the change of the fight from three rounds to a five-round main event may have played into how he fought, and also the obvious push for fighters to stop fights impressively lead to him looking for a huge stoppage:
“Yeah, it was the main event, you know? It was originally supposed to be three rounds, I fell into the whole, got impressed, we didn’t really prepare for five rounds. But I was in really good shape to go if we need to go. I was just relying more on the fact that, not looking past Whittaker because I know what was at stake, but just trying to impress because I know what this sport is about.”
The Jackson-Winkeljohn will now look to rebound in the talented 185-pound fray, and it would seem if he could only reign in his all-out aggression, he has the talent and experience to become a top contender.
Thanks to his admittedly careless effort last night, however, it’s Whittaker who is now on the very outside of the title picture.
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